Last year about this time I finally reached the very frayed and totally frazzled tippy tail end of my rope. This 3 bedroom house had been through 22 years of living and collecting and all the debris 6 kids leave behind when they grow up. It was bursting at the seams and groaning under the weight of all the STUFF. Or maybe a better word is JUNK. Some of it I loved and some of it I didn’t, but either way, most of it had to go. Since I am sentimental by nature, I realized that I would not be able to execute a real clean-out without a lot of help, and the first real help I received came in the form of a book. I don’t know Claire Middleton personally, but I feel like I do. Her book, Downsizing Your Life (For Freedom, Flexibility & Financial Peace), did for me what I could not do for myself: motivated me to actually get my life organized. Of course, having a Trail Boss for a firstborn daughter was equally helpful. Organizing books are a dime a dozen, but somehow this one was different for me. Claire talks about how to deal with sentimental items that you have inherited, why we keep what we do and how to bless others with what you no longer need. She made me realize that I’d be doing my kids a favor by dealing with my own junk so they don’t have to. Claire Middleton also wrote Secrets of Small-House Living, which I have not yet read but intend to. Whew. Now that I’ve de-junked, I’m ready to start designing my tiny house!